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  • Monday, October 19, 2015

    Senator Honors Legionnaire for WWII Service

    BOLIVAR – Richard H. Monroe, past commander of Kenyon Andrus American Legion Post 772, was honored Oct. 17 for his service in the Pacific Theater during the Second World War.

    Senator Young & Richard Monroe

    Senator Catharine Young and Richard Monroe
    Photos by Darrell Gronemeier/NYS Senate

    During a ceremony at Post 772 in Bolivar, State Sen. Catharine Young (R,C,I – Olean) presented Monroe with the New York State Medal for Merit, the U.S. Army’s World War II Victory Medal, the Army of Occupation Medal with Japan Bar, the Honorable Service Lapel Button, and the Army Marksman Badge with Rifle Bar “in recognition of his outstanding record of military service.”

    Senator Young and Monroe were joined at the ceremony by local officials, representatives of the U.S. Army, family and friends.

    “Private First Class Richard Monroe volunteered for service at a time of great uncertainty for our nation and the world. He answered the call of his country, traveling across the Pacific to defend the freedoms we hold dear, including the role of justice and the law,” said Senator Young.

    PFC Monroe served with the U.S. Army from September 1946 to January 1948. During his time on active duty, he was a member of the 800th Military Police Battalion in Kobe, Japan. The battalion was tasked with the dual responsibility of being part of the Army’s occupation forces while also acting as a military police presence to protect both the military forces and civilians.

    After PFC Monroe departed the Pacific Theater, he used his G.I. Bill benefits to attend the Rochester Institute of Technology where he earned a bachelor’s of fine arts. A distinguished artist, Monroe worked as an architectural designer for the Olean Tile Plant and his mosaics have been displayed around the world. He is also a prominent painter, having won numerous awards for his works. Among his paintings is a collection that features the likenesses of 28 local service members who were killed or died while on active duty, including Corporal Jason Dunham of Scio. A painting by Monroe now hangs aboard the U.S.S. Jason Dunham.

    Senator Honors Legionnaire for WWII service

    From left: Gary Stoll, Sons of the American Legion; Charles Bessette, Kenyon Andrus American Legion Post 772 commander; Chairman Curt Crandall, Allegany County Board of Legislators; State Assemblyman Joseph Giglio; State Senator Cathy Young; Richard H. Monroe; U.S. Army First Sgt. Darrin Colwell; and Army Capt. Andrew Currier.

    Richard Monroe and his wife Dixie live in Bolivar. He is a proud step-father of four and step-grandfather.

    He also has been a member of the American Legion for more than 65 years.

    “We deeply appreciate his service to our country and continued effort to promote and honor the lives of his fellow veterans,” said Senator Young.